Friday, December 28, 2012

Why I Write

Last week’s Reading Challenge was a recommendation to read Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life. It included the brief quotation that follows:

“ . . . The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

Within Dillard’s wisdom and challenge is the reason that I write, why I am compelled to write. I fear losing what I have learned, and I do not clearly understand what I have learned unless I write it.

When I open my safe, I recover fragments, snippets, and threads, then stitch them together into a lovely quilt and wrap myself in its warmth. On another day, I pull out all the stitches and reinvent the pattern, looking at the whole anew. In these ways, I glean truth, but not necessarily the truth. It’s just my truth, but with it, I touch the infinite.

What is your truth? The one that lies beneath the stories you tell to others and the ones you tell to yourself?

Reading Challenge:

A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers is about truth and lies, about the lies we tell ourselves and the truths that others see. It’s a 2012 National Book award winner for fiction. Don’t miss it.

Writing Challenge:

Write a universal truth that weaves together one age after another, one nation to another, as seen in literature. (Hint: Treachery breeds savagery.)

GUM (Grammar, Usage and Mechanics): Apostrophes to Indicate Possession

With 2013 just days away, now is a good time to review the correct use of the apostrophe when wishing one another a Happy New Year’s Eve. The evening prior to New Year’s Day belongs to the new year so an apostrophe plus S is appropriate. The first day of 2013 belongs to the new year so an apostrophe plus S is again appropriate.